Aerial Work Platforms
The aerial work platform or AWP is a machine engineered and designed to elevate workers and gear to a particular height for the completion of tasks. The type of equipment varies with the specific make and unit. Before aerial work platforms were made, all tasks needing work at high levels needed to be carried out with scaffolding. Thus, the invention of aerial work platforms has increased the overall productivity of similar tasks and kept many workers safe.
The three main types of aerial work platforms are boomlifts, mechanical lifts and scissorlifts. These machinery could be operated with pneumatics, mechanically using a rack and pinion system or by hydraulics or with screws. These units may be self-propelled with controls situated at the platform, they may be unpowered units which need an external force to move them or be mounted to a vehicle in order to be transported.
John L. Grove was an American inventor and industrialist who is widely credited to developing the aerial work platform. Nevertheless, in the year 1966, prior to JLG's very first unit, a company referred to as Selma Manlift introduced an aerial lift unit.
In 1967, after selling his previous company Grove Manufacturing, John L. Grove and his wife decided to take a road trip. They decided to make a stop at Hoover Dam. While the couple was there, Grove unfortunately witnessed 2 employees electrocuted while they were working on scaffolding. This terrible incident led John Grove to discover an untapped market for a new product which can safely lift workers in the air for them to perform maintenance and construction tasks in a better way.
When John returned home from his vacation, he purchased a small metal fabrication company and formed a partnership together with 2 friends. They soon started designing ideas for the aerial work platform. The new company was named JLG Industries Inc. They proudly released their very first aerial work platform during 1970 with the aid of 20 workers.